Luna Innovations Incorporated (NASDAQ: LUNA) shared today that its corrosion monitoring products have been selected by Lockheed Martin to monitor critical environments on board NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Part of the Artemis program, Orion is the only spacecraft specifically developed for crewed missions into deep space, supporting NASA’s mission to build a sustainable presence on the lunar surface and on to Mars. The first mission, Artemis I, will be uncrewed and will launch in 2021 out to the lunar vicinity and back to Earth. Artemis II, the first mission with astronauts on board, is planned to go to the Moon in 2023.
Luna’s products are helping to achieve spacecraft reusability, a key cost saver for sustainable exploration of the Moon and deep space. Since NASA plans to reuse flown Orion crew modules, Luna’s products will report valuable information used to assess integrity of the module throughout the mission and for reuse determination. Within the interior of the crew module, Luna’s products will monitor environmental stability as crews exercise, utilize the waste management system and access potable water throughout spaceflight. On the exterior of the module, Luna’s products will record corrosive conditions as the capsule returns to Earth, splashes down into the ocean and is transported back to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“Providing real-time, critical information relative to the safety and integrity of the module throughout the mission and the life of the capsule will be imperative to the overall success of the Artemis program and the safety of Orion astronauts,” said Scott Graeff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Luna. “We’re honored to support Lockheed Martin and NASA on such an exciting project that will help to shape the future of lunar exploration and, eventually, Mars.”
NASA awarded Lockheed Martin with a contract to order six Orions with the potential to order up to six more, for a total of 12. The first six will be for Artemis missions III-VIII. The Artemis III mission, launching in 2024, will ultimately see the first woman and the next man walk on the Moon.
Luna’s corrosion monitoring products currently support aircraft sustainability programs around the world seeking to expand condition-based maintenance practices. By partnering with key owners of defense and industry aircraft, Luna is demonstrating that corrosion monitoring can improve aircraft availability while reducing the cost of inspecting and washing the aircraft.